Saturday, December 20th, 2014

More on MoveOn and McCain

SUMMARY: We check two more items from an e-mail sent out from MoveOn.org targeting John McCain. This time on housing and torture.

In April 2008, the liberal group MoveOn.org launched an e-mail about Sen. John McCain: "His carefully crafted positive image relies on people not knowing this stuff — and you might be surprised by some of it."

The e-mail went on to list 10 things about McCain that MoveOn doesn't like. It urged people to forward the e-mail to "friends, family and co-workers."

It covers a broad range of policies, both foreign and domestic, as well as details about McCain's biography.

We checked the following two items:

• "His reputation is built on his opposition to torture, but McCain voted against a bill to ban waterboarding, and then applauded President Bush for vetoing that ban," the e-mail says. We found the measure McCain voted on was not that simple: It would have banned waterboarding, but it also would have made the Central Intelligence Agency follow the Army Field Manual, a new set of rules for the agency. For glossing over other important parts of the bill, we rated this statement Half True .

• "He's one of the richest people in a Senate filled with millionaires. … Yet McCain says the solution to the housing crisis is for people facing foreclosure to get a 'second job' and skip their vacations," according to MoveOn. McCain is one of the wealthiest senators, but his housing policy does not include second jobs and canceled vacations. He used those words in praise of people who sacrificed to keep current on their bills. MoveOn takes McCain substantially out of context. We found this statement to be Barely True .

We previously checked other items from the MoveOn e-mail as well:

• McCain did accept the support of John Hagee, a minister who made comments many construed as anti-Catholic. Hagee later apologized for his words. Nevertheless, MoveOn was right when it made its statement, and we found the item True .

• "The pastor McCain calls his 'spiritual guide,' Rod Parsley, believes America's founding mission is to destroy Islam, which he calls a 'false religion,' " MoveOn said in its e-mail. The group is right on Parsley's views, but the relationship between the two appears to be primarily political, not spiritual. We rated the statement Half True .

• McCain did oppose a Martin Luther King Jr. holiday early in his career as an elected official, and now says he was wrong . We found MoveOn's statement on this matter True.

• McCain opposes abortion and said he wants to see Roe v. Wade overturned. MoveOn is right again, so we give this another True.

• McCain has a low rating from the Children's Defense Fund, voted against the state children's health program in 2007 and defended Bush's veto of it . There are a few mitigating factors voters might want to consider, but it's still True.

• McCain did get a zero rating from the League of Conservation Voters . But the e-mail gives the impression that McCain is rock-bottom on environmental issues. We rate this charge to be Half True.